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Discovery of Aripo Datta Ganga

Updated: Aug 13, 2022

It should be noted that even before Appaji ventured into North America and Europe to do Datta Prachar He was eagerly searching out Aripo, so rekindling his reunion with his "old souls" and linking with his past..

During our Avadhoota Datta Sadguru’s last visit here in 2018, He made an impromptu visit to the Aripo River, after giving Guru Mantra early on Thursday 26th July. There He held a brief question/answer session on Aripo River for devotees' benefit. Individual devotees asked the following to which Sri Appaji Himself replied:

Photo Credit : Avadootha Datta Peetham

Question: “We have heard that thousands of years ago, Aripo Muni Raja renounced the kingdom and came to Aripo to do penance . When He returned as Swamiji, He meditated on a rock. Could You indicate where is the rock?”

Answer: “Which rock? It has since disappeared after some many ‘jala pralayas,’ and so many changes in the land.

Question: “In the early days at Aripo, You had mentioned that long ago, Parashurama had a connection with Aripo, and that Lord Dattatreya who was roaming about these hills, was very thirsty. Then Parashurama came to His rescue. Parashurama threw his axe nearby and where it hit the earth, this Aripo River emerged. Is this correct?”

Answer: “Yes. This incident of Lord Dattatreya and Parashurama was like the passport stamp for Swamiji to come here.”

Question: “Is there a connection to Ganges River in India also?”

Answer: “This is also true.”

Question: “ What size was the River long ago?”

Answer: “ It was much bigger, but later became a stream.”

His Holiness at Kamareddy Ashrama in 2021 spoke about His search for the Aripo Ganga for two to three days in an early visit. He intimated that the locals were surprised and believed that there was no Ganga there.

Extract from His discourse at Kamareddy: “ We found it flowing in a narrow valley in the mountains. The forest officers made a walking path and within 10 days built a shrine. They wanted the shrine before Swamiji left the place. So much devotion! They built the Shrine even though heavy rains. They bathe there and do abhishekam to Shiva. I am present here but my mind is there.”

(November 21, 2021, thanks to Avadhoota Datta Peetham and Archana Penukonda, translator).

Historic Snapshot of Datta Guru Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji in Trinidad --

Sri Swamiji identifies Aripo Datta Ganga Sangama.

“Even though the Supreme Lord is all pervading, His presence can more keenly be realised in the holy places. In those places which were sanctified by the austerities of great saints down the ages, the Lord responds to the devotees’ call more readily.” (‘Sri Guru Charitra’, Chapter 21)

Fortunately for devotees, one such holy place has been identified in Trinidad by His Holiness Param Pujya Sri Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji. It is the holy spot in the Northern range, named by our Sadguru as “Aripo Datta Kashi Nath” or “Aripo Datta Ganga.” Sri Swamiji has kindly disclosed that when He was a young boy, He came across this river with His grandfather who was reading the Brahmanda Purana. It was mentioned there as Sararipu River or Saptarshi Nadi. In reply to His grandfather’s query about its location, Swami then intuited in His meditation that it was in Trinidad. He has since likened this holy spot, nestled in the cool, lush Aripo Heights, just before the Aripo Village, to the sacred confluence of Rivers, Krishna, Amaraja and Bheem in Ganagapur, India. In ‘Sree Guru Charitra’ Lord Dattatreya Himself reveals to His disciples that as His Incarnation of Sri Narasimha Saraswati, He chose to reside at the confluence of rivers Krishna, Bheem and Amaraja, because of the sacredness of that Sangama. He assures His devotees thus: “ My living Presence will be experienced by anyone who bathes in the Sangam, worships the holy peepul tree and takes Darshan of my Padukas here.”

The same is true of “Aripo Datta Kashi Nath”, as countless devotees can testify, since Sri Swamiji first revealed the greatness of the Aripo River first in 1976, then later in 1986, when He revealed the blessedness of this spot along its banks! He has confirmed also that there exist now 3 hidden underground mystical streams also, and that this Sangama was also the holy abode of the Saptarshis or seven Great Rishis, who are always present to bless the sincere seeker. As many can testify, the waters of Aripo have immense healing and vitalising powers, both physically and spiritually.

Muni Raja revisits his ancient home---20th July 1986

Dr Chandool an "old soul" washed his Guru's feet with milk.

On this auspicious morning, our beloved Sri Swamiji, is driven by Dr. Chandool, and instead of stopping at the usual spot He first visited in 1976, (Four Tunnel Bridge) they drive on and on, followed by a few cars with ardent devotees. Up and up they drive, along the winding, narrow, primitive road, one side a deep, dangerous precipice, the other the bushy, green mountainside. The road is wet and slippery, as this is the rainy season here in Trinidad, but this does not deter the convoy of cars that follow. Kriya Yoga students are also among those devotees who alight with Swamiji at a certain spot just before the Aripo Village. In the words of one devotee,

“Warily, curiously and cautiously, we make our way down a narrow, muddy track, surrounded on both sides by bushes and tall trees. “Where is Dr. Chandool taking us?” I could not help wondering, not realising then that we were being guided by our Sadguru Himself! About quarter way down, we come across an old, small house, half hidden, but we press on, gingerly following Sri Swamiji, who was in the front. Only He appears sure of where He is going. He moves swiftly but carefully, down the steep track until we reach the Aripo River—a beautiful, sparkling, clear stream that meanders merrily over stones and some rocks, dancing cheerfully over small waterfalls into a small pool.”

Dr Chandool is seen cleaning a spot for Appaji to sit.

" This first visit took us to the bottom of the the pool where the two streams converge and across the mossy rock surfaces to shallow waters."

Aripo River—once part of the Ganges

“Devotees crowd along the bank though there is hardly room to stand, so bushy and dense the undergrowth, so slippery the mossy bank—a far cry from the Aripo Datta Kashi Nath we know today! Then Swamiji asks Dr. Chandool to narrate what Swamiji had disclosed to him in the car. Dr. Chandool eagerly reveals, “About thirty-five thousand years or more ago, the Aripo River was part of the Ganges, when the earth was one solid mass, when Bharata Desh meant the whole world , and Hinduism embraced all continents. Later came disintegration of the earth and the formation of continents. At that time Sri Swamiji was a king who ruled his kingdom well. He was very righteous and after some years, renounced his kingdom, and did penance on this very spot. He became a great saint known as Muni Raja. Many great yajnas were performed here for the benefit of mankind, and He established an ashram.”

‘Our Swamiji’—Divine Compassion personified

“However, the king was so missed by his subjects that they came to him and begged him to return. Now a saint, he promised them that whenever the kingdom was in trouble, he would return to help them. This was one of the main reasons He had now returned as our beloved Sadguru---to rescue and guide His old subjects and devotees.” Naturally, our pores rise with exhilaration and love as we hear these words! Swamiji had returned for our sake! Sacrificing His familiar customs, His food, His home in India, He had come in 1976 to re-connect with ‘His old souls’, seeking us out from our often mundane, pleasure -seeking lives, to lead us on our journey to our divine, real home, to the blissful treasure of our True Self."

Appaji takes the first bath after offerings completed to deities.

"Many of us are tear-filled, dumbstruck as this thought sinks deep into our psyche and we realise the divine compassion of Swamiji!”

Sharing spiritual vibrations and souvenirs

“Mossy stones also make the trek into the river dangerous, and devotees help Swamiji into the river. He goes alone down the river for about twenty-five yards, offering oblations to the river, and praying to the Sun God with Gayatri Mantra, sprinkling the river water over His head. The he instructs Sri Radhakrishna (who became Swami Manasa) to offer dry coconut, gold chain, silver coins and flowers to the river. He then sits on a rock closer to us, eyes closed in deep meditation for almost half an hour, while devotees absorb the pious vibrations silently. Afterwards, Swamiji asks the devotees to bathe fully, and instructs everyone to perform Pada Namaskar, Prostrations to His Lotus Feet in the water, sprinkling everyone individually, as we reverently touch His pure, Divine Feet!"

Late Krishna K. Persad gets pada sparsan looking on is Krishna Rambaran , both from Arima.

"We are all in a blissful, exalted mood. Swamiji also collects some sand, and small stones and gives them to everyone, calling them ‘spiritual souvenirs’. Later, Swamiji materialises many pendants of Dattatreya from amongst the sand in the river, saying that these are for some people in Arima who are unable to be here.”

Avadhoota Datta, One with everything

“We can very clearly perceive the total identification of Swamiji with nature. He appears to be One with everything."

Some lucky Kriya yoga students

"The powerful vibrations increase as He asks His disciples (Pariwar) to chant Rudra Namakar, Chamakar, and Sri Ganesh Atharvasheersha slokas. Then He reveals, “River bathing is one method of purification of body and mind. It is Abhisheka to your spirit who is Paramatman.” Devotees then chant loudly Datta Stava before He signals to them to wait higher up the track while He frolics in the pure water which itself seems to delight greatly, welcomingly, in His Divine Presence. Suddenly, before we know it, a heavy shower of rain descends as though not being able to contain its joy, bursting from a dark cloud above like tears of joy from heaven itself, witness to these awesome proceedings! A historic, triumphant day indeed!”

Thank You Appaji! Please accept our humble Prostrations at Your Lotus Feet for revealing such a spiritual treasure for our benefit!

Jai Guru Datta, Sri Guru Datta!

First visit to this site in 1986 is recorded in ‘ Ganapathi Swamiji—Datta’s Grace: The Caribbean Story’

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